The Northern Hemisphere experiences the hottest days of the year from mid-July into August. Beginning in Roman times, this is called the Dog Days of summer.

Roman astronomers observed the brightest star, the Dog Star called Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major. This bright star rose and set with the sun during the hottest days of the year. Folks believed that days were hotter because the two celestial bodies shown together.

Hot days became associated with the effect summer heat has on dogs. Some Romans even sacrificed dogs in worship of the star hoping that the heat would diminish. The practice also helped curb the stray dog population and the diseases they carried.
Hot days coax people into the open. Enjoying the great outdoors requires repellents, sunscreens, and sanitizers. Many come in convenient wipes which require proper disposal. Packaging states if a wipe is flushable.

Family Dollar/Dollar Tree is a go-to place for all Dog Day needs. Dos Palos has a newly remodeled Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Combo Store at 1919 Almond Street. Their motto is “Two Great Stores. One Big Deal.”

The Family Dollar website explains that Family Dollar is designed to meet the overall needs of families while Dollar Tree has “thrilling offerings” to help celebrate seasonal, party, and crafting occasions. Combo stores “building on the success of both brands” are being opened in towns with 3,000 to 4,000 population.

The company points out that rural customers often travel to meet shopping needs. Their goal is to change that as they continue to open more combo stores across the country.

At the combo store in Dos Palos, Dollar Tree items are on the right as customers enter. These items tend to be for seasonal use, parties, and crafts. Think a trip to the beach, an outing, or summertime entertainment for children.
Both sides of the store offer toys for water fun. Items include swim aids, goggles, masks, floating tubes, and floating air mats to increase pool and lake fun.

Youth and youthful adults can cool one another with mega water shooters. Younger children delight in spinning sprinklers. They can grow a pet flamingo or shark by putting special “eggs” in water.

Evenings and shady areas are great for outdoor challenges. The store has various types of balls and tossing rings. Sidewalk chalk inspires art contests. Children can lift people’s spirits by designing greetings along sidewalks.

Bubble fun is a category all its own. Bubble blasters come in various styles including fans, shark or pony squirters, and space blasters. Bubble mowers delight toddlers as they follow parents doing yard work. Large refill bottles of bubble liquid are available.
Warm summer evenings call everyone outside to avoid heating the kitchen. Family Dollar has all the supplies that a grill master needs. There are various types and sizes of grills from portable tabletop grills to inexpensive smokers with the necessary hickory chips. The Dollar Tree section has disposal plates, flatware, and table coverings.

Cook vegetables in a grill basket, rack, or barbeque pan. Barbeque chefs’ long handle tools and protective gloves are reasonably priced. Briquets, starters, and grill cleaner complete outdoor cooking needs.

Enjoy listening to wireless tailgate speakers designed with rugged and Bluetooth technology. Of course, be mindful of neighbors who may have a different taste in music.

The chef and family can relax in oversized camp chairs or toddler size Adirondacks. Refurbish patio chairs with new pads. Make hot cement areas more tolerable with an outdoor carpet.

Protection is primary for outdoor fun. The whole family needs sandals, flipflops, or water shoes. Protect heads and faces with hats. Get sunglasses for everyone.

Be kind to air conditioning systems. Dollar Tree has many styles of fans to circulate air more efficiently and reduce stress on the main unit. Get filters and replace them often.

This is only a partial indication of the many products available at the combo store to help relieve the effects of and even enjoy the Dog Days of summer.